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The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock (1983)

by Donald Spoto

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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399549,967 (3.81)1
This is the definitive life story of Alfred Hitchcock, the enigmatic and intensely private director ofPsycho, Vertigo, Rear Window, The Birds, and more than forty other films. While setting forth every stage of Hitchcock's long life and brilliant career, Donald Spoto also explores the roots of the director's obsessions with blondes, food, murder, and idealized love--and he traces the incomparable, bizarre genius from Hitchcock's English childhood through the golden years of his career in America as one of the greatest directors in the history of filmmaking.… (more)
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Showing 5 of 5
Really hard to get into ( )
  cjordan916 | Mar 13, 2020 |
An exploration of the man and his work that fascinates. Interesting that Hitchcock tended to employ leading men that he envied and women that he fantasized about. Also interesting that he was such the momma's boy. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Way too much detail but if read selectively it is very interesting. I am about to begin the part I suspect I will like the best. That is his work with Grace Kelly whom he secretly loved. ( )
  SigmundFraud | Jun 12, 2013 |
Alfred Hitchcock was an evil bastard. This might be ascertainable by viewing his films, but, for the most part, working within the Hollywood system constrained, or at least repressed, some of the more sadistic impulses. Not off the screen, though. An anecdote, by way of illustration. Hitchcock once bet an assistant cameraman that the latter wouldn't be willing to have himself shackled to a massive camera and spend the night alone on a particularly spooky sound stage. In a seemingly good-natured gesture, Hitchcock provided the man with a bottle of brandy to fortify himself, neglecting to mention that it was liberally spiked with a powerful laxative. The next morning, Hitchcock insisted that all cast and crew be assembled early in order to witness the poor slob's abasement. Master of suspense, indeed! ( )
  jburlinson | Mar 20, 2011 |
Savory for Hitchcock fans. ( )
  DavidGreene | Jul 18, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donald Spotoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Santos, DomigoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
It takes the pity of God

to get to the bottom of things.

—Enid Bagnold,

The Chalk Garden
Dedication
for Ned

A friend may well be reckoned

the masterpiece of Nature.

—EMERSON
First words
My fascination with Alfred Hitchcock began over thirty years go, when I was a schoolboy and he was quickly becoming an international institution. (PREFACE)
Reporters and photographers, movie fans and autograph-seekers and guests at the Beverly Hilton Hotel clustered in the lobby all afternoon, and by five-thirty on March 7, 1979, the desk clerks and bellmen were finding routine duties almost impossible.
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This is the definitive life story of Alfred Hitchcock, the enigmatic and intensely private director ofPsycho, Vertigo, Rear Window, The Birds, and more than forty other films. While setting forth every stage of Hitchcock's long life and brilliant career, Donald Spoto also explores the roots of the director's obsessions with blondes, food, murder, and idealized love--and he traces the incomparable, bizarre genius from Hitchcock's English childhood through the golden years of his career in America as one of the greatest directors in the history of filmmaking.

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